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Pray For My Neighbor’s, Dry Cleaner’s, Right Pinky Toe

12August2011

Please pray for Uncle Dan’s, neighbor’s,  cousin’s, elbow.  This was an actual prayer request, posted on one of those prayer e-mail prayer chains that many churches run to keep members connected to and praying for one another.  Problem is, that was typical of about 98% of the prayer requests made on this chain. Body Part Prayer (BPP). If you were a social scientist studying the beliefs of Christians in North America and you had access to the famous e-mail prayer chain you would learn two things right off the bat:

  • Sending out prayer requests to as many ‘prayer chains’ as possible increases the odds of a healing. Kind of like buying a lot of lottery tickets increases the odds of winning.
  • The high water mark of the Holy Spirit-empowered ministry of prayer is BPP.

 

Yes, Jesus healed many body parts- but he gave this ministry of healing to the Church to actually practice. Seriously. Don’t take my word for it, check out Luke 9 or chapter 10, or James 5, or just follow the ministry of Paul in Acts, to name a few examples.

Now, I’m not against praying for healing. I’m against the spiritual immaturity that suggests the nearly the entire ministry of prayer is concerned with BPP. I’m alarmed that the whole business of the Church continuing on with actually healing people as a sign of the Kingdom AND in obedience to our Lord AND following the example of the early Christians has been quietly dropped by the mainline Church. Or sadly, relegated to BPP.

When Jesus prayed it was for the unity of His followers, not Peter’s Bursitis.  When Paul prayed (he left a few letters for us as examples) he gave thanks for the spiritual maturity he found in the Church, or for some correction of doctrinal error or for the resolution of an interpersonal dispute that was weakening the church.

What might we learn from those who have gone before us about prayer as we seek to be part of the healing and redemption of a Church that is struggling to find its way again?

Blessings on your Journey. .. and please pray for my pinky toe to get better….

Mark Wilhelm@CCD

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Craig Britton permalink
    16August2011 13:23

    Refreshing thoughts from my good brother Dave and company. Thanks.

    Craig Britton

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